tv [untitled] April 23, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm PDT
(music) hello, i'm ivette torres, and welcome to the road to recovery 2011 , a showcase of events. throughout this year, millions of americans have been making their voices heard by telling their story of recovery from substance use and mental disorders. they know that they are not alone in their journey of recovery, that family, friends, and entire communities
are walking alongside them, to help them lead healthy and rewarding lives. as the power of recovery becomes a reality for them, they're learning how important they are to their family, friends, and community. more and more, we can all see that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. recovery benefits everyone. for more than 20 years, national recovery month has honored and celebrated persons in recovery and helped to educate and inform others about the process of recovery. we know that almost 1 in 10 americans struggle with a substance use disorder and that about 1 in 5 americans has a mental health problem. treatment and recovery are the pathway forward for these individuals, a pathway leading to improved family relationships, health and well-being, hope for
the future, and purpose in the sustainment of their recovery. as we hear and see their stories, we will learn that recovery happens through many different pathways and that, in every journey, recovery depends on supportive relationships marked by care, support, and respect. this year marks the 22nd year of recovery month , and this year we have broadened it to incorporate recovery from mental health problems along with substance use disorders. recovery should be the common goal, whether one is dealing with mental or substance use disorders or both. i encourage you to visit recoverymonth.gov to learn more about the celebrations, events, and the 2011 theme. join the vces for recovery. recovery benefits everyone. this is an important effort, to try to make sure that we put the
light on recovery from substance abuse and mental illnesses. for the first time, we've invited people in recovery from mental illnesses to join the substance abuse community, in this celebration of accomplishment and achievement. these are actually very exciting and challenging times. the science that prevention works, that treatment is effective, and that people do in fact recover continues to grow. we've achieved parity and equity in law, or at least we've achieved the law, workin' on the implementation. now it's time to achieve a quality in service. since day one, this administration has been focused on applying sound, research-based drug policies geared toward protecting americans from the threats that drugs pose to public health and safety. i spent my entire career in law enforcement. i know we can't arrest our way out of our drug problem, and that's why our policies are based on the recognition that drug addiction is a disease, that it can be
successfully prevented, and it can be treated. and simply put, the tragic wreckage wrought by drug use can be prevented before it becomes a criminal justice or a public health emergency. i stand here today as a living example that a better life is possible. i realize that in grace and wellness could lead me to improved mental health and physical health. as recently as 4 years ago, after having struggled with clinical depression for my entire adult life, i was on the verge of giving up. the disgrace, shame, and stigma of my mental health problems had taken a toll on my mind and body. i had also suffered several strokes, and i lived every day with the effects of diabetes and hypertension. i just didn't think much of life. but then i was introduced to the wellness recovery action plan, a step-by-step program that many of you already know as wrap. my life has changed so much that i wanted to share it with others.
it's my passion in my personal and professional life. i'm now qualified to go around the world to share my knowledge and help others find their path to wellness and recovery as an advanced-level wrap facilitator. i was adopted at birth into a family with alcohol and drug or domestic violence issues. that was the beginning of the traumas and the stigma that was to follow me for the next three quarters of my life. i ran away from philadelphia to fort lauderdale when i was 15, and gave birth to my oldest daughter and was labeled a habitual runaway by judge mark speiser. over the next years, i struggled with my addiction, giving birth to a son and another daughter. finally, in my late thirties, i ended up homeless, living under bridges, and i finally started going to jail. it was jail that actually saved my life, because that is where i met broward county drug court judge marcia beach, who loved me, and so i could love myself.
she placed me in the sheriff's 90-day in-custody treatment program. the time there helped save my life. the last 30 days of the 90 days i did something i had never done before in my entire life. i made a plan. today, i'm an intern for intherooms.com. we are the world's largest recovery web site with over 260,000 people worldwide, sharing their experience, strength, and hope with each other, and it's powerful. today, i'd like to tell you that i'm an asset, not a liability. today, i'm a face and voice in and of recovery, and thank you for having me. (applause) on behalf of the president of the united states, the national alcohol and drug addiction recovery month, there is a proclamation. i will not trouble you to read the four or five paragraphs that are in here, but i think that-that when you
do get to see it and you see it up on the white house web site, it is particularly impressive that-the way he and this administration want to deal with this problem. and we could not be more proud to be partners with all of you and support you in every way that we can. thank you. (applause.) i think the national recovery month 's theme this year, "recovery benefits everyone," deserves just a little bit of thought. it's impossible, i think really, to think about a single occurrence, in which somebody gets well, or reclaims their health or vitality, or engages fully in life, or literally goes beyond a returning to an old state of health, and really goes, you've heard this already, really goes into a new state of-of life and hope and connects with others in meaningful ways. and when that happens, everybody, we as a whole, as a whole society, benefit. i know we're in strange economic times, but many people need to
hear about prevention, treatment, and recovery. we pay one way or another. we pay less if we facilitate prevention, treatment, and recovery. we pay more if we ignore them and assume that somebody else is going to take care of the problem. the problem is all of our problems, and the benefits go to all of us. none of us are here by accident. i come from a family with a lot of experience suffering the pains and the joys of recovery from alcoholism, from my father to-who-who recovered and-and enjoyed many happy years, as well as some other relatives; a son who did not. and we lost him due to alcohol. we come full circle in-in a number of ways. i had the pleasure, about 25 years ago, of also being an affiliate director for the council in southern arizona, and then in '91 started my own company 20 years ago now, jorgensen-britts group, and we attack it from a couple of different angles.
providing direct treatment back in the nineties, to now running full-service employee assistance programs, where we work to intervene in the disease and get folks into recovery before they lose everything. i'm bev haberle, and i'm a person in long-term recovery, and that means that for the past 40 years, i haven't used alcohol or any other mood-altering drugs. (applause) as a result of that, i have lived a remarkable, wonderful life. it's allowed me to give back, to help others. it's allowed me to be a wife, a mother, a productive citizen, as well as an elder in my church. so i'm truly grateful to be standing here today. my grandmother taught me a song that kind of saw me through a lot of the worst of my alcoholism, and i thought i'd just ask you to join me on it, because i think it's always a nice way to close any discussion about past, present, and future.
each year, thousands of people around the country help to organize recovery month community events and celebrations in september, in cities and towns across the nation. these events bring together the courageous people in recovery, the caring service providers that work tirelessly to support people in recovery, and the family and friends who are so vital in making recovery a reality. this year, the efforts of thousands of individuals throughout the country produce more than a thousand events nationwide, supporting our 2011 theme, "join the voices for recovery. recovery benefits everyone." these recovery month events confirm that we are making great progress in building strong recovery communities. for everyone to be successful over the long run, we must
support people in recovery, not only with our encouraging words but also with housing, education, and employment. recovery month events make the faces of recovery visible in the community, highlighting the fact that people in recovery are our family members, friends, and neighbors. and it underscores the need for ongoing support for those who have beat addiction and mental illness and are now living happy and productive lives in recovery. we have seen rallies, jamborees, block parties, sporting events, motorcycle rides, community walks, wellness activities, and art shows among the many events listed on the recovery month web site. participants in these events have experienced fun and fellowship. we want to thank the thousands of people responsible for organizing recovery month events.
your creativity and dedication is inspiring. we are making a difference by making these events possible. it's the miracle of sobriety, but we've got to do it together, right? so can i get a big cheer for doing it one day at a time, together? (cheering) this kind of an event is not only geared to help break the stigma and discrimination that surrounds addiction, but also as a lifeline for some folks, to say that, indeed, recovery is possible. events like this dispel the myths that surround mental illness and addiction. so it's really helping people to get a visual-that, indeed, people from all walks of life have suffered from this disease but also recover from this disease. communities need to celebrate recovery because every-, believe it or not, every one of us knows someone
that's in recovery, and we don't know it. the reality is that the phenomena of addiction is pervasive, and it crosses generations. it crosses families. august 19th, 1981, i ran away from the meridian home for girls just outside philadelphia to the streets of the fort lauderdale strip. i was 14. june 11th, 2011, 30 years later with 5 years sober, i started walking home. with my walk, walking up the east coast, i would walk about 10 miles in the morning, and then in the afternoons i would visit homeless shelters, treatment centers, battered women shelters. i'd go back into the alleys, under the bridges and tell my story and share hope. i started sandraswalk.org to spread little mustard seeds of hope in places that there were none. and there's a lot of fantastic things going on in the recovery community, and i think the stigma of-of coming into recovery and the fellowships, and you can't do this and
you can't do that, kind of wards people off. it scares people off from coming into recovery, because they think they're going to be sentenced to a church basement and a coffee pot. (music) we have recovery concerts. we have sober comedy events. we have the 12 step music fest in the keys. and there's a lot of fantastic things going on in the recovery community. (music) i'm a person in long-term recovery for 25 years. part of what we're trying to do today is to say addiction is like any other chronic illness. if i break a leg, you know, or i have a lung disease, you know, i have some pretty full access to care. if we truly mean that-that addiction and mental health are like any other chronic disease, we need to, you know, take a look at our public policies and-and ensure
that we're-we're-we're treating it in that way. (music) go out of your way to find out what faces and voices and samhsa and your local organizations are doing for next year, for 2012, and-and do what you've got to do, you know, to get out there and say "hey, yes. we're in recovery. we do recover. we are active, productive citizens in your community. hear us." (music) it's such a special day in so many different ways. it's a community coming together, out in the sunshine in the city of providence, to say to all the residents of our great state that people in recovery are important, that the message of recovery and hope is possible for anyone. (music) from where it came from and taking recovery out of church basements and shadows, and putting it right in the biggest block party in the city of providence, it's mind-boggling, it's astounding, it's awesome.
members of the recovery community in rhode island have all come out, and we've had wonderful speakers and a great day of celebration of the value and importance of support for people who are in recovery. actually seeing recovery in the heart of providence, on main street, bringing the discussion out into the public so we can all be a part of it, is just terrific. we do a lot of public education on a day like this, and let people know who the fellowship is, and that they can come to us for treatment and services in the future. when you've got a mental illness or substance abuse, it can be very lonely, and you can feel very isolated. you can kind of feel like it only is happening to me. and then they come out, and they realize how many other people are taking this journey, too. it's just very uplifting to people. it makes me not feel alone, you know. there are other people that are around, that have the same issues, and it's not only me that i have to worry about.
it's others that also need the support. it is really exciting to see how your great work here in rhode island is being amplified through washington around the country. "recovery benefits everyone" is the national theme this year, and when we see an event like this, when we see people in recovery, family, friends, and allies, everybody getting together, a lot of love, just a lot of celebration. it's very meaningful. it tells the community that people can and do recover and addictions are beatable. we have a torch-lit parade which goes down to waterplace park, and there are 300 luminaries, candles, in which people have-have filled out different cards. we have the candlelight procession, the torchbearers, and we're going to march right into the middle of waterfire. that brings it out into the public forefront. when you see the darkness descend, and you see 300 candles, and you see the torches, and then for the
first time this year, we will be part of the official lighting of waterfire. rhode island is just, you know, the smallest state with the biggest event. what can i say? we are here today to advocate for recovery alcoholics and addicts, to educate people not only about the disease of addiction but about the process of recovery. we are here to eliminate stigma and, most of all, we are here to celebrate you. we are here to celebrate recovery. (applause) texas recovers is puttin' on this event called the big texas rally for recovery. big texas rally for recovery. wow. this is huge, because texas, of course now, is a part of promoting recovery at a statewide level.
we've got people from across the state showing up to present a positive face and voice of recovery. we want you to know that recovery is possible. say it loud, say it proud, "i am in recovery!" (crowd: i am in recovery!) it's so important that this event takes place, especially in texas. for so long, people in recovery have been hidden in church basements, and they've kept their anonymity, and everybody needs to know that people do recover and live successful, productive, wonderful lives. and this is one way we can make the public aware that recovery is real, and recovery is rewarding, and recovery restores health and families. the reality of recovery is a whole, healthy community. so everybody benefits. we've got to thank everybody. it's a party out here. and that's the name of the theme for recovery month this year, is that everyone benefits. that's the theme for this year. the recovery month effort run out of washington, dc, is a way for different recovery movements from across the country to
come together and to provide a common voice and-and a voice that will be heard. you guys are the faces and the voices of recovery, and the state needs to see that and to know that giving us half a chance, we can turn out to be some pretty wonderful people. texas recovers is proud to present thomas "hollywood" henderson, a man in long-term recovery. how you doin', thomas? (applause) the suffering need to know that-that there is an us, and the us need to reach out to the suffering. and so bringing events like this around the country lets people know that people recover. people recover. substances took me down some roads that i shouldn't have gone down. i spent 7 months in treatment, aftercare, morning care, every care, give me some care, where is the care?
i'm probably the proudest recovering alcoholic in the world. i haven't had a drink or a drug for 27 years, 10 months, and a few days. (applause) you get to build a new life- because a lot of times people who talk about recovery talk about they want things back. "i wanna to get this back, and i wanna to get that back." i think to get so many new things- because there is life after treatment, and a good life. so it's time for those that have a problem really to get into recovery. (music) and ladies and gentlemen, i would like all of you
the stories of recovery are the stories of individuals improving their own health and well-being, living self-directed lives, and achieving their full potential. these stories are seen at recovery month events, but, more importantly, they're seen day-in and day-out in people leading a life in long-term recovery. the recovery movement is a wonderful example of the greatness of america, where diverse people come together and walk a pathway to healing. lives are saved and forever changed. among the estimated 20 million people in long-term recovery, we see health and prosperity, people working, raising families, paying taxes, voting, and volunteering in their communities.
people in recovery have reclaimed their lives and are now giving back. while we can all take pride in the successes of the 2011 recovery month events, we must now turn our attention to making 2012 another great year. i hope this show inspires you to organize a recovery month event next september. you can begin now by going to the recoverymonth.gov web site for information on how to get started. as you can see from the events in 2011, recovery month events come in all shapes and sizes. whatever type of event you choose to do, you will be bringing a sense of hope that people can live healthy, happy, and productive lives. thank you for everything you do to support recovery. let's keep up this exciting work in the coming year, and i sincerely hope that your event will be highlighted in our 2012 showcase of events.